Jules Lewis was born in Toronto and is still based there. He has lived in Montreal, New York City, and Istanbul, and has written for Toronto's Eye Weekly. This is his first novel.
Waiting for Ricky Tantrum
Long-listed for the 2011 ReLit Awards
Jim Myers is a painfully shy kid living in Torontoâ€™s west end Bloorcourt Village. Rarely is he able to muster enough courage to say anything beyond "ya" or "dunno." After school he hangs around with his neighbour and only friend, Oleg Khernofsky, playing basketball against a NO PARKING sign in a laneway. In the evenings, he haunts Nickyâ€™s Diner, a restaurant owned by Olegâ€™s uncle.
On the first day of junior high, Jim crosses paths with Charlie Crouse, a brash, mouthy kid full of wild stories about his past. Charlie takes Jim under his wing and introduces him to the electronic strip poker machine at the Fun Village Arcade in Koreatown, a Queen Street hooker who calls herself Steffi Graf, and the diverse sounds and utterances of his landlordâ€™s three lovers. As Jim and Charlieâ€™s friendship grows, however, the realities of looming adulthood seep into their lives with surprising consequences.
Reading the novel is like listening to a dozen simultaneous shouted conversations, all taking place in a crowded after-school hangout.
Lewis is a wide-open window on the cheesy mortifications of boyish lust.